RYE, NY -- A large chunk of Playland’s boardwalk was floating in the Long Island Sound today.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino toured the park with County Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor.
“She came in with a fury, and for whatever reason, Sandy didn’t like Playland,” Astorino told the entourage of press that followed him on his tour.
The floating piece of boardwalk, which still had two lamps and a bench attached to it, was the only piece of the public walkway on the north side of the park that was still partially in tact. The rest had been ripped apart during Super Storm Sandy. The north side is the part across from the Edith Read Sanct under the roller coaster. The boardwalk near the Tiki Bar was buckled and missing planks. You can see this in the video above.
Astorino estimated the damage to be in the millions and said it is the county’s responsibility to repair the park.
Playland’s Ice Casino suffered extensive damage, with four feet of water in the basement where the pumps and freezing equipment used to make the ice are located, O’Connor said. Sand, water and fish filled the basement during high tide. The ice rink is no longer frozen and they are busy trying to create ice today, she said.
“This is devastating,” said O’Connor. Playland suffered extensive water damage in the Nor'easter of ’92, which is when the ripped up boardwalk was last replaced, but this damage is different, she said. At least several inches of water flooded the park, but the high winds and storm surge caused more than just water damage as you can see in the video. Salt water could have seriously damaged the motor equipment at the park. The rides made it through ok, O'Connor said.
Astorino said that the non-profit group he picked to revitalize Playland, has not been informed of the park’s damage yet, but will be soon. He said that the county will “probably” coordinate repairs with the group, which has $34 million in renovations planned and had hoped to start work by the beginning of next year.
Astorino emphasized that the county owns the property and it is responsible for repairs. But the county will easily qualify for $3.2 million threshold to qualify for federal disaster assistance, he siad.
“We could do that here,” Astorino said of Playland's damage.
He also explained there is a $23 million statewide threshold for federal relief, he said.
Watch the video for more from Astorino and to see clips of the damage.
View a photo gallery of the damage here.
Comment from Sustainable Playland Spokesperson Geoff Thompson: We are concerned about anything that compromises the historic integrity of Playland and we will anxiously await the analysis of any damage resulting from this unprecedented storm. Thompson noted that a management agreement has not yet been executed and that it is in the works.
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